Written By: Saurabh Bose
MBA admission process at present in our country is murky. Multiple exams, fuzzy admission criteria, numerous deadlines, huge application fees are a few amongst the many shortcomings. There have been attempts to have a single centralized exam, but all in vain as of now. An aspirant therefore needs to display managerial skills even when applying to become a ‘manager’! What happens with many of us is that, we miss applying to some college. Later we regret, thinking that we should have applied, as the college turns out to be of our interest. Many a times we spend thousands (15-30k) applying tentatively. Also, we apply to colleges, emulating our friends. So why not do some prep on this subject? Let’s here discuss some simple, yet useful steps and untangle this subject.
We should start by taking a look at a credulous B-School category list. The popular coaching institutes like CL, TIME, IMS et cetera provide trustful rankings. Look out cautiously as some magazines’ surveys are completely erroneous. In these surveys even some of the top notch, coveted institutes fail to find a place (as they do not even care to provide details to the survey!), so it’s easy to identify such surveys. Now let’s say the list divides colleges into groups of 10 and rates them by some convention. The top 10 colleges may be rated AAA, the next 10 AA and henceforth. After this we need to give time for a brief research. Pick up 2-3 colleges in each category and go through some of their features like previous years’ cut-offs, faculty base, process of learning, international collaborations, batch profile (especially w.r.t. work experience), admission pre-requisites, location and of course placements. One can visit the official sites of colleges or MBA preparatory resources sites.
The next step is- institute selection. For this, we need to focus on two factors- our field of interest and capability/preparation for entrance exams. The areas of interest are a completely personal choice, which may depend on factors like academic background, quantity as well as quality of work experience, career preferences etc. These areas of interest could be anything like pharmaceuticals, power, telecom or say communications. There are MBAs available in some of the specific domains like these. These industry specific MBA colleges should not be compared with other traditional B-schools as they may not be top-ranked overall, but they may definitely be the best in their league.
Let’s now talk over the more common factor i.e capability or say preparation for entrance exams. We can get a fair idea of our preparedness, by analysis of our results in mocks or by comparing our performance with peers. After a considerable amount of contemplation and on the basis of our research we need to realistically target a particular category of B-schools. Our target may come out to be the 10-20 ranked colleges, 30-40 or 1-10 ranked colleges. Appearing for multiple entrance tests reduces the impact of a bad exam day. We should set for ourselves a budget/limit. It can be anything between 5k-30k. Firstly we should be applying to the B-schools in the target category we worked out. Then not putting all eggs in one basket, we can select some colleges in other categories and apply to them! Also maintaining a note/spreadsheet of the important dates would make life easy for us!
All the best!